Visible signs of a grow op
Listed below are just a few of the most common indicators of a marijuana grow house.
- Mold growth in corners where walls and ceilings meet
- Condensation on walls or windows
- Bubbling paint or wallpaper
- Discoloration of the walls, ceiling or roof
- Gaping holes in walls
- Electrical work that has been tampered with
- Bypassed hydrometer
- High relative humidity
- Covered up windows and doors
However, the signs are not always as obvious, so it’s important to supplement each grow op inspection with an air quality test.
How to recognize a grow op
Signs of a grow op can be both obvious and hidden, so it’s important to watch closely for them. Knowing what to look for will help you detect dangerous (and potentially deadly) contamination, such as toxic black mold growth.
Toxic black mold is the result of high humidity levels, and there’s exceptionally high levels of humidity in homes used to cultivate marijuana.
Changes to the home’s ventilation system and structural integrity contribute to the spread of black mold. A mold inspection should be carried out in order to help uncover any growth and, in the case that it’s there, remove it.
An inspection will help protect future residents from suffering the effects of mold exposure.
On that note, for anyone expecting a real estate agent to keep them informed, the Canadian Real Estate Association’s ethics guide regarding grow-ops is full of loopholes.
The seller (and listing agent) is only obligated to let a buyer know if the home was a grow-op if there is a latent (hidden) defect the seller knows about, if the buyer asks or if the purchase agreement states the property must not have been used as a grow op.
In 2013, realtors began pushing for the creation of a grow op registry that would alert buyers and real estate agents about former grow op properties.
However, because this idea is not yet reality, it’s extremely important that you call on professional mold inspectors if you suspect that your home or the one you’re interested in purchasing may have been used as a grow op.